Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brigid's Feast: Being Called Names



I've mentioned her before. . .  Brigid





 Celtic goddess, 
patron saint of poetry and healing,
of midwifery and forging things from fire,
predecessor of St. Brigit.  


In honor of her feast day today,
I'm offering this poem from
my as-yet-unpublished volume of poetry
called Calypso Red.


Thanks, Reya, for reminding me to join
this poetic tribute hosted by Anne Hill


p.s. I'm sorry. . . no matter what I do,
I can't get this poem to display correctly.
Like me, it has a mind of its own.




Being Called Names

I've been called a lot of things.
It's a girl, said the doctor. My daughter,
my father announced to his friends.
Sweetheart, cooed my mother.
Teachers seemed to think my name was
stop talking to your neighbors.
My baby brother couldn't say his r's
so all of a sudden I was Mimi.
To some men, I've been sweetie,
love, darling, my bride, my wife,
the one who takes him back
no matter what. To others,
I've been a tease, that femi-nazi
or castrating bitch. I've been
mommy, teacher, poet, writer.
I've been called too trusting,
too serious, too smart for
her own good, too competitive,
a woman of a certain age,
Terry's wife, divorcee.
I've been called a lifesaver,
a living doll, y'all, honey
with a southern accent, 
a bad girl, wild woman, psychic,
miss, ma'am and even hey you.                                             
I've been called your honor,
counselor, attorney-at-law,
but not -- like my law
partner of days gone by --
that bitch-dyke-lawyer from hell,
though I think there's a certain
mystique in that moniker.
I've been called the other woman's
name -- just once, but that's enough. 
And it was not until I stood
before an ancient wall
in a temple on the Nile
and stared at glyphs
that spelled my name
in language from a time
beyond time
that I truly understood
I was Beloved.


6 comments:

mouse (aka kimy) said...

WONDERFUL....happy brigid's feast, candlemas, and don't forget the groundhogs!!!

we have a statue of the virgin in plexiglass at a local poor clare monastary

wf: poetriuj!!!!

Joey said...

Great poem! I love it.

Reya Mellicker said...

You ARE beloved.

Looks like Bridgid is in a phone booth. Very cool.

Thank you so much for the poem. xx

ellen abbott said...

Oh wow Meri. I love this!

Bohemian said...

Oh Meri, I'm so glad you visited my Post so that I could link over here and read your musings and poetry. And yes, you are Beloved!!!

Dawn... The Bohemian

Allegra Smith said...

Slowly making the rounds, feels good to read your words by myself. We may be coming to Seattle at the end of next week. Would love to see you.
That would be joy to me.